Panorama of the Week: 2501 Migrants Outdoor Art Exhibit, Oaxaca

When I first walked by the 2501 Migrants outside of Oaxaca’s Santo Domingo church, I figured they were a permanent fixture from one of the nearby shops. They’re a curious collection of lumpy, abstract little beings. Then I discovered that this was a temporary art exhibit, a clever way to make a statement and cast light on an economic reality in Mexico.

2501 Migrants is an outdoor statue exhibit executed by Mexican artist Alejandro Santiago Ramirez. The statues are intended to represent the 2500 people (plus 1, himself) who left his little village of San Pedro Teococuilco near Oaxaca for the United States and other areas in Mexico in pursuit of economic opportunity. When it occurred to Ramirez that over half his village had migrated, he decided to “repopulate” the village with these statues. Each one has a different face, a different expression.

An interesting exhibit on its face, even more when you consider what it all means.

Panorama: 2501 Migrants Exhibit at Santa Domingo Plaza in Oaxaca, Mexico

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  1. says

    Love it, love it, love it! What an incredible work of art, and your panorama gives a wonderful perspective. How tall are the figures? (They look almost life-sized, but you used the term “little beings” in your description.)

    I live near Watsonville, California, which has an abundance of agricultural fields, as well as a huge migrant population from Oaxaca, Michoacan, and other parts of Mexico. I know many people who have left their families behind to earn money here.

  2. ghazal says

    OMG …you are amazing !

    I am writing a feature article about tourist attractions in Iran and different experiences of the travelers. will you do me a favor and answer answer some questions , so I can use them in my feature with your name? I will appreciate if you tell some anecdotes and personal experience which you think it is enjoyable and interesting for the readers.

  3. says

    Beautiful in a creepy sort of way. The statues remind me of old, abandoned dolls. I definitely wouldn’t want to walk around that village at night.

  4. says

    @Kathy: It’s funny, I took one panorama standing over the figures and it just wasn’t the same. In this one, I squatted. The figures are probably about three-four feet tall or so. I figured it was better to meet the statues where they are at.

    I love Watsonville. I maintain that I had one of the greatest burritos there ever in my life. Audrey and I used to drive through there just about every weekend as we drove between San Francisco (where I was living) and Monterey (where Audrey was going to school.) Interesting to know the migrant workers there are from Oaxaca and around. This world is very small. Thank you for a wonderful comment.

    @ghazal: Definitely check out our posts from Iran listed here:

    If you have additional questions, send us an email to the address listed here:

    @BA: I hear you. At first glance, a little eerie especially at night. Eerie in the best possible way.

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